Department of Fish and Wildlife
Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Fishing remains productive during deer season
This is the fourth installment of a series of
articles titled “Fall Fishing Festival” profiling the productive fishing on
Kentucky’s lakes, rivers and streams in fall.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky offers some
of the finest deer hunting found anywhere, and the modern gun deer season
stands as one of the most anticipated opportunities each year.
Its allure draws
many anglers away from the water in November.
“A lot of people
start to put up their fishing gear this time of year and head for the woods,”
said Dane Balsman, urban fisheries research biologist with the Kentucky
Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “There are a lot of good fishing
opportunities in the fall and a lot less pressure. You can have some of your
best fishing this time of year."
Anglers don’t have
to travel far to find a productive spot.
Kentucky Fish and
Wildlife started the Fishing In
Neighborhoods (FINs) program in 2006 as a way to expand fishing
opportunities for anglers living in the state’s largest cities.
to a handful of lakes in central and northern Kentucky, the program took off
and now includes 40 lakes across the state.
In October and
November, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife stocks a total of 57,000 rainbow trout in
These 9- to
11-inch trout, reared at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, are eager to
bite and put up a fight that often belies their size. A small in-line spinner
or a 1/8-ounce spoon in silver or gold are good bets. Brightly-colored dough
baits formulated for trout and corn fished on the bottom or suspended under a
bobber also are consistent producers.
basic: small hook, small bait," Balsman said. "It doesn't take
addition to the FINs lineup is the 11.6-acre lake at Maysville-Mason County
Recreation Park. It joined the program this year and received its first
stocking of catfish this past summer.
pretty lake with great access all the way around it," said Balsman, who
added that the lake would receive its stocking of trout this month.
FINs lakes are
stocked with channel catfish and hybrid sunfish in spring and summer. The bass
and bluegill populations are monitored and supported with stockings as needed.
fish are still feeding pretty heavily in November trying to pack on some pounds
for the cold winter months when they're not as active," Balsman said.
Daily limits for
FINs lakes are five rainbow trout, four catfish, one largemouth bass over 15
inches and 15 bluegill or other sunfish.
Anglers ages 16
and older will need a statewide fishing license, unless exempt. Licensed
anglers who intend to keep their trout also must purchase a trout permit. The
permit is included in the Sportsman's license and Senior license.
“If you’re going
to catch and release trout, practice good techniques,” Balsman said. “Don’t use
a dry towel or step on the fish to get the hook out. Try to keep it damp with
your hands. If it swallows the hook, you’re probably better off cutting the
below Lake Cumberland's Wolf Creek Dam is a year-round fishery renowned for
trout, striped bass and walleye.
tailwater is always good," said John Williams, southeastern district
fisheries biologist for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. "The upper part of the
tailwater from the dam to Helm’s Landing or Winfrey's Ferry is better in terms
of numbers of trout. As you go downstream from there you usually get some big fish.
I always like fishing Helm’s to Winfrey’s. You have good numbers and some
nice-sized fish, too.”
Kentucky Fish and
Wildlife biologists sampled the area within the past week and found mostly
rainbows around Helm’s Landing and mostly brown trout down around the
Burkesville area near the KY 61 bridge. Crankbaits that imitate crawfish and
minnows are effective for trout. Work either with a steady retrieve or quick
jerks to entice strikes.
“We also saw some
nice stripers below Hatchery Creek,” Williams said, “and several walleye pretty
close to the dam.”
consult the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil for the water
release and generation schedule.
“If you like a big
fish, it’s probably the best place to catch a huge striper because they’ve got
plenty to eat and the water conditions are nice and cool,” Williams said. “You
never see a skinny striper in the tailwater. They’re always bruisers. The
walleye always look nice down there. I wouldn’t say there’s big numbers of
either one of those but there’s some and they’re always in good condition. The
brook trout are coming on, too.”
The license year
doesn’t end until Feb. 28, 2015, so get out this deer season, enjoy some great
fishing and get your money’s worth on your fishing license.